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Media and Education in the Digital Age

Concepts, Assessments, Subversions

Edited By Matteo Stocchetti

This book is an invitation to informed and critical participation in the current debate on the role of digital technology in education and a comprehensive introduction to the most relevant issues in this debate. After an early wave of enthusiasm about the emancipative opportunities of the digital «revolution» in education, recent contributions invite caution, if not scepticism. This collection rejects extreme interpretations and establishes a conceptual framework for the critical questioning of this role in terms of concepts, assessments and subversions. This book offers conceptual tools, ideas and insights for further research. It also provides motivation and information to foster active participation in debates and politics and encourages teachers, parents and learners to take part in the making of the future of our societies.
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Critical review of an e-learning tool

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Barbara Szafrajzen & Karen Ferreira-Meyers

Abstract

The article is based on a recent doctoral research in communication and information sciences which set out to compare two teaching methods (the same training given in a face-to-face setting and at a distance) in order to analyze and understand the influence of a technological tool (Szafrajzen, 2010). It attempts to establish a critical assessment of e-learning, with respect to actual practices and actors’ “points of view in a given situation” (Parsons, Schütz, 1978) of learning. For this, the research tries to highlight the meanings for the actors, meanings that are the key to their understanding and thus learning (Depover, Giordana and Marton, 1998). This study allows us to understand and analyze a few of the meaningful learning experiences of e-learning education students (3rd year Bachelor’s Degree), hosted by a university in the south of France.

The place of communication and information technology in the current academic landscape is indisputable. E-learning and e-education has grown significantly in many universities, thanks to various factors (technological, pedagogical, psychosocial, cognitive, socio-economic, etc.). The integration of computer science tools in this new type of learning device (Choplin, 2002) has led to learners greatly modifying their learning experiences in a meaningful way, forcing the university to adapt to these changes. In addition, new problems inherent to the students’ needs to “tame distance” (Jacquinot, 1993) have thus emerged.

In human and social sciences, many researchers have been interested in cyberspace, especially...

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